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Friday, February 12, 2016

Google loses more ground to Bing and is down 1.2 billion in terms of search volume on desktops. So what does the search engine landscape look like for 2016?

Global media measurement and analytics company, comScore has released its monthly assessment of the desktop search engine rankings. According to their findings, Bing has gained slightly against Google since the last statistics were released in November 2015. Although Google still dominates the searches with a 63.8% market share, Bing is gaining ground steadily and has now reached 21.1%. This represents a milestone for Microsoft’s search engine, as a year ago Google had a market share of 65.4% with Bing trailing at 19.7%. Although there is still a great deal of ground for Bing to cover, if it continues on an upwards trend whilst Google loses a small proportion each month, then it’s only a matter of time before the two meet in the middle.

Bing And Windows 10 

Bing was first introduced in 2009 when Microsoft rebranded its former Live Search and spent around $80-100 million dollars promoting Bing. Later the same year, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a ten-year deal which amounted to Yahoo’s search engine being replaced by Bing but retaining the Yahoo interface. This was big news in the search engine industry and has formed the foundations of how Bing and Yahoo have been able to chip away at the power of Google.

Bing is now fully integrated as the default browser into Microsoft’s Window 10 operating system, which also includes searches made by successful digital personal assistant Cortana.

In addition, Verizon’s AOL has recently dropped Google in favour of using Bing as its default search engine. If the rumours are true, then Apple Safari might also be interested in parting ways with Google to partner with Bing, Yahoo or their own in-house program. All of these represent jaw-dropping defeats for Google.

Desktop Searches Are Down

According to the comScore report, Google has lost more than 1.2 billion search queries in comparison to the same study that was undertaken a year ago. However, this does not tell the whole story as the comScore data only takes into account searches that were initiated by desktops.
In May 2015 it was confirmed by Google that mobile searches had now surpassed desktop searches for the first time in ten countries including the US and Japan. Clearly mobile search statistics represent significance when trying to assess the current search engine market. It is estimated that Google’s actual search volumes are more likely to be at least double the results recognised in the comScore report.

PCs Are Dying Out 

As the technology revolution continues, consumers are choosing a more remote and flexible way of communicating. High-speed broadband and free WiFi in many customer-facing establishments means that we are seeing a mass move towards portable devices such as tablets and large-screen mobile phones. These satisfy a user’s immediate search needs more easily than a PC. Less and less people are using desktops these days and there are certainly theories that the PC industry will die out completely. The IDC estimates that by 2019 the overall PC market will have shrunk to $175 billion, when it currently stands at $201 billion.

The comScore statistics can tell us a great deal about the search trends of the time moving away from PCs and also away from the dominance of Google. However, it is a shame that as yet the report does not yet amalgamate the findings of both desktop and mobile searches to give consumers and SEO experts a more accurate picture of the search landscape for 2016.

Author bio:
Danny Hall co-directs Freelance SEO Essex, one of Essex’s leading SEO companies. Danny specialises in technical SEO supported by quality content and stylish design.

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License: Image author owned

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